An academically respectable description and evaluation of secular humanism is available at last.
The diversity within humanism receives full recognition in this book, as does the fact that "not everything about humanism is bad from a Christian point of view." Indeed, the author continues, "there are many emphases within humanism that are compatible with Christian beliefs," a thesis to which he devotes an entire chapter.
Part 1 summarizes, in turn, eight prominent forms of humanism: Huxley's evolutionism, Skinner's behaviorism, Sartre's existentialism, Dewey's pragmatism, Marxism, Rand's egocentrism, Lamont's culturalism, and the coalitional form present in the humanist declaration and manifestoes. Emerging from these chapters are both the differences between humanists and the consensus that binds them together. "It is this humanistic consensus," writes the author, "that most radically conflicts with Christian beliefs" and that is "the number one problem in the United States today."
After the chapter on "the helpful emphases of secular humanism," part 2 details this movement's comparative inferiority, internal inconsistencies, religious inadequacies, and philosophical insufficiencies. The final chapter demonstrates that, while Christianity is consistent with the central principles of science, philosophy, epistemology, and ethics, humanism is not. "There is no rational justification," the author concludes, "for being a humanist.
Norman L. Geisler has taught at university and graduate levels for nearly fifty years and has spoken, traveled, or debated in all fifty states and in twenty-six countries. He holds a B. A. and M. A. from Wheaton College, a Th. B. from William Tyndale College and a Ph. D. in Philosophy from Loyola University.
After his studies at Wheaton, he became the graduate assistant in the Bible-Philosophy department at the college. He has since taught Bible, Apologetics and Philosophy at Detroit Bible College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Dallas Theological Seminary, and was Dean of Liberty Center for Research and Scholarship in Lynchburg, VA. In 1992 he co-founded and served as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, until 2006. Currently, he is professor of Theology and Apologetics at SES.
In addition to the books in this collection, Geisler is also the author of A General Introduction to the Bible and I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, as well as the books in The Norman L. Geisler Apologetics Library and Norman L. Geisler’s Systematic Theology (4 vols.).
“Not everything about humanism is bad from a Christian point of view. Indeed, there are many emphases within humanism which are compatible with Christian beliefs (see chaps. 8–9). On the other hand, secular humanism presents one of the greatest threats to the survival of Christianity in the world today.” (Page 7)
“The naturalistic view of the origin of the universe has posed some difficulties. One problem lies in reconciling it with the second law of thermodynamics, which affirms that the usable energy of the universe is running down—a situation that seems to point to a beginning (see p. 135).” (Page 133)
“The Skinnerian man, therefore, is a receiver and not a perceiver. He is passive, not active, in the knowing process. It is the environment, not man, which determines what man knows and how he will come to know it.” (Page 25)
“Therefore the ultimate responsibility for an individual’s or culture’s moral code or even moral behavior lies not with the individual nor with the culture but with the environment.” (Page 27)
“Furthermore, Skinner’s determinism rules out any possibility of freedom of choice. Whatever man chooses to do is determined by external causes.” (Page 28)